Throughout his term on the City Council, Gaitley has proven himself to be a PROACTIVE problem solver. Through working with the community, he has gotten to know the community and its people. He understands the constituencies of the Glen Cove community, and the problems unique to each constituency.
Gaitley has worked tirelessly on the City Council to enhance the City of Glen Cove. He has voted his conscience, and has advocated for fiscal prudence and tried to make sure that the City is not spending more than it absolutely needs to, and that it is tapping all possible sources of outside income. But his service does not end with his efforts on the City Council; Gaitley has been tenacious in his efforts to make Glen Cove work for all its people.
When there are events promoting Glen Cove, or when there is work to be done, Gaitley is not there just for photos. He opens the venues and sets them up. And when the photographers leave, he rolls up his sleeves and gets to work. He is still there working when it is time for clean up.
When the pandemic hit and everything was on hold, Gaitley put his service in high gear; he didn’t slow down. When he hit a wall, he didn’t lament its existence or give up; he found a way over or around it.
The North Shore Historical Museum in Glen Cove had to close; Gaitley worked as a trustee in creating virtual pop-up tours. When St. Patrick’s Day could not be celebrated with the traditional parade, Gaitley sang “Danny Boy” in front of the homes of Irish Seniors living in Glen Cove, so that they would not miss this important holiday.
When workers at the assisted living facilities who worked tirelessly for their elderly residents were not being adequately thanked and recognized, Gaitley was there with songs and snacks.
This Pandemic has caused real hardship to so many in Glen Cove, and Gaitley has done all in his power to alleviate these effects. He is one of the founders of NOSH, a division of the North Shore Soup Kitchen. He makes drop-offs of food to those in need every Friday, and has arranged for major donations of food to organizations serving our food-insecure families. And when he has seen a problem for the people on his route, he has worked to make sure that problem was solved. When the High School distributed food to the community, Gaitley was there on Wednesdays, packing bags and loading them into cars.
When Hurricane Isaias hit and Glen Cove lost power, Gaitely was unwavering in his efforts to help residents. He not only pushed to get power restored to the residents of the Samuel Pierce Apartments, so that residents wouldn’t be in prolonged peril having to find their way through dark corridors, but he also drove around to assist utility workers that PSEG brought in from out of State. Given that workers were unfamiliar with the area, Gaitley went directly to residents' homes when citizens pointed out a challenge related to power lines and fallen trees. Not only was he proactive in alerting the workers of the problem, he immediately printed maps, making multiple copies designating the specific location of the challenge, literally pinpointing the fallen tree in relation to where workers were currently making repairs, and distributed these maps to the repair staff. While this did not eliminate the problem, it did help expedite the job to be done. And, when it was done, he showed up with ice cream sandwiches, coffee, and doughnuts to say thank you.
When it was brought to Gaitley’s attention that a railing at one of our apartment buildings in the city was inadequate and unsafe, he was determined to find a solution. He worked with everyone he could contact until that railing was replaced with a safer one. When handicapped spots in the city garages had their egress blocked, Gaitley made sure that they were again accessible. When a local business had its loading dock accidentally blocked by plowed snow after the latest snow storm, Gaitley worked in making phone calls, following up, and stayed on the task until the job was done. Again, making a point to express his appreciation to all involved.
Gaitley consistently promotes local business. He helped create Saturdays on the Creek, spotlighting the businesses on both sides of Glen Cove Creek. He attends and promotes the indoor Farmers’ Market just about every Saturday.
As liaison to the Senior Center, Gaitley has remained in steady contact with the head of the Senior Center in working, both before and after the Pandemic, to support the leadership of the center and to assure that senior services are uninterrupted in Glen Cove. From pushing to make sure that there was a substitute driver for the loop bus - used by many seniors, to his involvement on the Senior Advisory Council, to attending and being involved in special events and initiative, to fighting for the safety of our seniors, people know they have a friend in Gaitley.
Gaitley, whose brother is a retired colonel and served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, has also been a tireless advocate for the Veterans in Glen Cove. He has served on Veteran’s Committees, and counts many in the community among his friends. Recently, Gaitley was honored to present a citation on behalf of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina to Layton Hunt, a WWII veteran, and local barber. He also arranged for additional recognition to be given to Mr. Hunt on behalf of other elected officials. According to mutual friend and barbershop owner Brian Basile, this was the first time that Mr. Hunt had ever been recognized or acknowledged in over 40 years in the area. Additionally, Gaitley works annually with veterans and the faith community, in coordinating the annual multi faith service presented in collaboration with area houses of worship and the Memorial Day Parade Committee.
Gaitley also assists the Black and Latinx communities and is a unifier. While he appreciates the diversity of the community, he looks for common ground - ways to bring people together. In addition to his involvement as an Elder at his own church, he is an Associate Member of the Calvary AME Church (a historically African American congregation), where, in better times, he sings in the choir. He is also a member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, was recently honored by the Comite Civico Argentino as Community Leader of the Year, and currently chairs the Committee for the Bilingual Community Easter Dawn Service, which hosts an annual service in Morgan Park each year involving eight area church from both the Protestant and Catholic traditions.
In short, for Gaitley, “It’s all about community” is not just a slogan; it’s his governing principle. Gaitley has been an asset to the People of Glen Cove. He has ideas on how to bring new businesses to Glen Cove, make the spaces we do have more functional, and encourage smart growth. We need to return him to the City Council for another term.